The other rear elevation

In determining an appeal against the refusal of a lawful development certificate for a rear extension to a mid terrace house in south London an inspector has found that the council misinterpreted Paragraph A.1(f)(i) in Schedule 2 Part 1 Class A of the GPDO (DCS Number 400-026-137).

The council had refused to grant the certificate on the grounds that the proposal would result in an extension which extended more than 3 metres beyond the rear elevation of the original dwellinghouse. The dwelling had a single storey rear lean-to which was built up to the boundary with the adjoining dwelling and extended part way across the rear elevation of the main part of the house. There was no dispute between the parties that the lean-to was part of the original building. The inspector pointed out that for the purposes of the GPDO, a house can have more than one rear elevation, as illustrated at page 19 of the Technical Guidance (Permitted development rights for householders – Technical Guidance MHCLG 2019).

In the case before him the original rear of the dwellinghouse was stepped in plan, the inspector observed, and the extension would be similarly stepped, such that no part of the extension would extend more than 3 metres from the rear elevation directly behind it. It was clear to him that the council had interpreted limitation A.1(f)(i) as meaning that no part of the extension can extend more than 3 metres from any rear elevation to which it is attached. He reasoned, however, that the limitation can also be interpreted as meaning that the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse should not extend more than 3 metres from the corresponding rear elevation, being that directly behind it. He considered that this is the more purposive interpretation, and accordingly he determined that the extension would comply with limitation A.1(f)(i).

Section 4.3421 of DCP Online concerns GPDO Schedule 2, Part 1 Development within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse.